Winrock International

Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources. Winrock matches innovative approaches in agriculture, natural resources management, clean energy and leadership development with the unique needs of its partners. By linking local individuals and communities with new ideas and technology, Winrock is increasing long-term productivity, equity and responsible resource management to benefit the poor and disadvantaged of the world.
May 13, 2016

Boots To Business: One Veteran At A Time

Boots To Business: One Veteran At A Time

The Arkansas Women’s Business Center (AWBC) is helping military veterans find a future in the world of entrepreneurship.

Boots to Business is a two-day entrepreneurial education and training program aimed at helping veterans gain the foundational knowledge required to start their own business.  The program is made possible by the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Classes cover topics like business concept evaluations and accessing start-up capital and technical assistance.

The AWBC has been part of the Boots to Business program since 2014, training service members and military spouses who are transitioning or retiring from service from the Little Rock Air Force base in Jacksonville, ARK.

AWBC Director Liz Young created an Agricultural Lunch N’ learn to educate servicemen and veterans on farming as a future entrepreneurial business. From the agricultural trainings, many veterans have become AWBC clients, receiving one-on-one assistance to start farm operations.

Veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans. Young says farming provides an opportunity for soldiers to find peace and solitude, feed their community and their family, while restoring the farming heartland of this country. Soldiers have a high probability for success because of their physical strength, hard work ethic, and fortitude.

According to U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, Boots to Business program has trained 25,000 transitioning service members on 165 military installations worldwide. 

Apr 20, 2016

Great teachers create great students

Makpwe is a school officer in Nimule County
Makpwe is a school officer in Nimule County

An inspiring and informed teacher is the most important school-related factor influencing student achievement. Now, the primary-level teachers of South Sudan are proving, with the right support and training, they can educate and inspire the future generations of South Sudan’s children.  

With the support from USAID’s Room to Learn (RtL) Program, Winrock International – in partnership with FHI360 and Plan International – has trained Master Trainers to train teachers in the five components of reading instruction, plus English language acquisition. The training content also focuses on the use of educational materials supplied by RtL, plus skills training for the creation of teacher-made and learner-made materials. The content of the training, aimed at head teachers and teachers in primary schools, targets literacy, materials management and care, and psychosocial strategies aimed at positive classroom management. Head teachers and mentor teachers also receive training on mentorship to enable them to provide adequate support to teachers post-training. Developing systems that support teachers in sustained professional learning and refinement of teaching practice is perhaps the single most important way to promote student learning and educational opportunity.

Makpwe, a 29-year-old School Officer, and Guma, a head teacher, both attended the same training session in Nimule town, Eastern Equatoria State in December, 2015. After the training, Makpwe commented, “For me personally, I have l learnt a lot of new things, and as a teacher it is very important in my life because this is a training that I didn’t get before and I feel very happy for that because I think it will help me to educate the children that I teach in my school very well.”

Within the first phase of training, the RtL Program has trained a total of 330 teachers from 55 schools between November and December, 2015; 50 percent of whom have been women. RtL will aim to reach 1,472 educators in training by the end of September 2016. These early initiatives have provided a compass for how to build better trainings – affording teachers of South Sudan and, by extension, their future students every success.

We want to thank you for your continued support which enables us to expand our impact in each school community we enter in South Sudan!

Teachers and master trainers at training session.
Teachers and master trainers at training session.
Apr 8, 2016

Christopher Dowswell Scholarship Fund

Report to GlobalGiving (April 2016)

We have exciting news this quarter! Five of the 32 Christopher Dowswell scholars have completed their degree or diploma. Maryam from Nigeria, Yeshalem from Ethiopia, and Rokiatou from Mali have all earned BSc degrees. Balakissa and Awa, from Mali, have received Diplomas. We feel especially proud to have supported the scholars from Mali and Nigeria, given the security situations in those countries. Not a single scholar dropped out or faced delays during their study programs. One scholar told us she was very grateful for the chance to empower herself. “I have great gratitude and respect for Winrock International. This organization stands for educating women, so they can sustain themselves in the face of threats, and become independent. I have no other words for their help, except to say thank you.”

 
   

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